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Improving Current Educational Assessment Processes Through Utilization of Big Data in Developing Countries: Kenya’s Context
Globally, educational assessment through tests and examinations remains not only the primary avenue of advancing to higher institutions of learning but also generates big data which is used by governments in making key decisions in education sector. There are different assessment methods used to test the level of performance among the students, either through internal or national examinations. The analysis of big educational data helps to recognize challenges against assessment processes in developing nations. Among the current assessment processes used in Kenya include formative assessment, summative assessment, competence based assessment and assessment for learning. The aim of the study was to investigate how big data can be utilized to improve current educational assessment processes in Kenya. The study was guided by the following research questions: To what extent does school based formative assessment feedback help to improve students’ achievement in the summative assessment in Nyamira County? To what extent does the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education back-wash report produced by the Kenya national examination council improve assessment at school level? What are the challenges facing use of big data in the current educational assessment processes in Kenya? What are the opportunities of using big educational data in Kenya? The study used a cross-sectional survey design. The target population of the study consisted of 197 head of examinations at school level from all secondary schools in Nyamira County. A sample of 60 head of examination was selected. Questionnaire and document analysis were used for data collection and analysis. The study found out that utilization of big data feedback improves the current assessment processes. The study recommends that for quality assessment of students, there should be a balanced approach to both formative and summative assessment methods in order to produce valid and reliable assessment reports.
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